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Getting Started with App Engine at USF

The link at the bottom of this page (above the movie clip) takes you to the Google tutorial for App Engine. You'll create a helloworld web page and some other dynamic pages. Before proceeding, check out the instructions below.

If you are new to the USF system and Linux, check out this tutorial on using Linux before tackling AppEngine.

For the tutorial, set up a sub-directory AppEngineSamples in your home directory. Then create the helloworld directory within that, and put the files requested by the tutorial in that subdirectory.

The tutorial asks you to successively modify the helloworld files and project. Instead, save the project (directory and files) separately for each part of the tutorial. This way you'll have the samples which you can look at later.

If you are working on your USF account, you can start up the development app engine server with the following command:

    dev_appserver helloworld

This is slightly simpler than described in the Google app. It works because USF's system's team has set up a shortcut to run the dev_appserver application.

After using dev_appserver to start the development server, you can check if your application runs correctly by opening a browser and enterng the url: http://localhost:8080/

When you're ready, you can deploy your application to Google's servers. First, go to and register the application. Then run the following command from the directory above your helloworld directory:

   appcfg update helloworld

This is also a shortcut set up on your USF account. appcfg is Google's application that uploads your files to the server.

So putting it all together, here's the steps to create a Google App Engine 'helloworld' with USF tools:

  •     create the files for your app.
  •     dev_appserver appname                            (start up a local server for testing)
  •     http://localhost:8080/                                   (open a browser to test you application)
  •                  (register your app. with Google)
  •     appcfg update appname                             (upload your app. to Google)
  •                      (open a browser to test deployed version)

Good luck, and here's the Google tutorial:

Google App Engine Tutorial

Here's an introductory screencast:

App Engine Screencast